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Opening Remarks on the International Network for Government Science

Opening Remarks 22nd August 2018


International Network for Government Science 

African Regional Science Advice Workshop & Forum

22 to 24 August 2018

Lemigo Hotel, Kigali

Welcome Remarks

Hon Dr. Eugene MUTIMURA

Minister of Education

Ministry of Education, BP. 622, Kigali, Rwanda

-      Chair, International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA)

-      Regional Government and Academic Delegates

-      International Science Policy Experts

-      Delegates from Rwandan Government and Academic Institutions

-      Distinguished Guests

-      Ladies and Gentlemen

I would like to extend my thanks to International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA), through the Chair Sir Peter Gluckman, for choosing Rwanda to be the venue of this very important workshop on “Regional Science Advice”. We are delighted to host this important event. I also thank the International Development Research Centre of Canada for providing funding support to this workshop.

 I welcome the many distinguished delegates from Government and Academic institutions who have travelled from many different countries in the region, including Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania to be with us today, together with the international and regional delegates from the INGSA network who have travelled from Canada, Italy, New Zealand, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa in support of this workshop.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Government of Rwanda is demonstrating the significant importance that we place on Science, Technology and Innovation for the development of our nation and the region.

 As early as 2005 the GoR Cabinet approved a National Policy on Science Technology. This is currently under review to ensure the National STI and Research Policy will continue to play a crucial role to leverage Science, Technology, Scientific Research and Innovation to fast track the implementation of the Rwanda’s Vision 2020, 2050 and the Rwanda National Strategy for Transformation, in line with the Africa’s Agenda 2063.

 The STI Policy seeks to support the building of a strong Science, Technology, Innovation and Research capability and capacity in support of four cross-cutting themes, namely: Knowledge Acquisition and deepening; Knowledge Creation; Knowledge Transfer; Innovation and entrepreneurship Culture.

 It is recognized that there is a need to strengthen science, technology and research not just in Rwanda but across the whole African continent and the Government of Rwanda is engaged in several National and Regional initiatives to help build this capacity. This includes initiatives such as Centres of Excellence (CoE) which are being established to address critical challenges facing Rwanda and the Region. CoEs in Renewable energy, Internet of things, Data Science, Carnegie Mellon Africa center in Kigali, Rwanda offers Masters of Science degree in Information Technology and MSc in electrical and computer engineering, AIMS, ICTP- The East Africa Institute of for Fundamental Research and Theoretical Physics- hosted by UR.

 However, we recognise the critical need to provide scientific evidence based advice to ensure effective and efficient policy formulation and implementation, including the role of science advice in the formulation and implementation of evidence-based public policies.

 I therefore greatly welcome the work of the INGSA which seeks to improve the potential for evidence-informed policy formation at both national and trans-national levels. Perhaps, let me also mention the GoR commitment to enhance research and Innovation through funding commitment of USD 30 million dollars National Research and Innovation Fund launched this year in June 2018 after cabinet budget approval in March 2018. At regional level, The Governments of Ethiopia, Rwanda, Senegal, Kenya, Ivory Coast agreed to launch the PASET- Partnership for Skills in Applied Science, Engineering and Technology, each country has committed to provide USD 2 million to fund and strengthen science, Technology and Engineering capability in SSA. So there is PASET Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF) to support PhD and later posy doctoral research.

 Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I look forward to the outcomes of this meeting which I know will provide an opportunity to share experiences and learn from each other the best ways for ensuring access to quality and relevant science advice for policy makers. 

 Once again I am delighted to welcome you to Rwanda, I hope that in addition to this INGSA Workshop and Forum you will be able to stay longer and savour the beauty and many attractions of Rwanda.

 I thank you for your kind attention.

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